Is it the last snow of the year?

Spring was arriving. Green shoots were poking through the ground and dead leaves. A few early bloomers were showing off their color. And then, the Polar Vortex dipped south. The Polar Vortex and I have had encounters before.

Then the snow came. Not a lot, and it melted fast. But it is cold outside! The cold has made the daffodils wilt and buds are likely damaged.

And the little bit of snow brings photo opportunities! I had my iPhone 5s with me and I found interesting images in the snow.

Is this the last snow? Every year, summer arrives. 2016 will not be an exception!

Playfulness!

Playfulness

Sometimes, it’s just good to play. Stop worrying about composition, color correcting, being at the right place at the right time. All these things are very good to do, and most of my photography does reflect time spent on various activities.

But sometimes, it’s just fun to play and see what comes of it!

This image came from a series where I was playing, and actually trying to learn how to use my iPhone 5s in different ways. But I really liked this image. I can’t tell you why precisely. Maybe because I know the source and find this image surprising? Maybe it is the gentle arcs of light against the dark background? Maybe it’s because I know you won’t know what it is, but I do!

I just can’t help but capture images!

My best sunset photos are often taken with my iPhone in the grocery store parking lot. Maybe it’s because I run errands late afternoon and when I come out the sun is setting? I do know there are no obstructions. I point my iPhone up and there are no buildings, electric wires, street lamps or “things” to get in the way of the glorious colors and how they reflect on the clouds. This sunset image was captured yesterday after a quick run to the grocery store.

Then when I got home, I had to quickly grab my iPhone again because I loved the way the clouds and colors peeked through the tree branches.

We are still doing remodeling in our kitchen. The tile worker who did our floor and was so amused at me need to lay on the floor to take photos of row upon row of screws. He saw me get out of the car and said, “You just can’t stop taking photos, can you?” So true!

How many photos do I need of sunsets and clouds? I’ll let you know when I find out. Seriously, the colors, the rays of light, how the colors reflect on the clouds, the shape of clouds…need I go on?

Dragonfruit: a photographic joy!

Dragonfruit

I was introduced to dragonfruit when I visited China in 2013. Occasionally, I find them at specialty grocery stores. I got two of these marvelous fruits this week. And, as my Instagram followers will tell you, I enjoy capturing images of this unusual fruit.

The dragonfruit, or pitaya, is grown on bushes in tropical areas. Florida is now providing fresh dragonfruit, as are other countries.

I’m often asked what it tastes like: think off kiwi but much milder. It is full of nutrients and is actually very low in calories. It’s just expensive. But I still love it!

I’ve updated my latest images to my Flickr account and invite you to enjoy them visually!

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Views from the BeachFront Hotel Balcony

We stayed last week at the Beachfront Hotel on the south shore of Houghton Lake, MI and had a balcony room.  Several days, I enjoyed capturing the sunrise or sunset from the balcony.  It was a beautiful view of the lake where I grew up. Days were spent on the west shore helping family with updating computers.

 

Pleased to have images selected for LenkaGRID

I enjoy using my iPhone 5s as one of my photography tools.  One App I enjoy using is LenkaCam, which captures black and white images with great clarity and depth.  I often post some of these images to my Instagram and Twitter feeds.  Two of my images have recently been selected for LenkaGRID, a collection of LenkaCam’s favorite images that have been shared on social media. In this case, both are part of a series I call Construction As Art.  You’ll see more images soon, but here are the two selected by LenkaCam.

Sunset over the Lake

My childhood home was in a town surrounding one of the largest inland lakes. Whenever I go home to visit, I’m drawn to the lake in all seasons, during all weather.  This fall, the sunsets were spectacular. All I had was my iPhone, but it proved to be more than enough. When the lake is still, the reflections are often as dramatic as the sky. Here are a few I captured in the moments before dusk. Click on an image to see it larger.

Daffodil Glade at Morton Arboretum

Sunset at Daffodil Glade seen through Impressionism
Sunset at Daffodil Glade seen through Impressionism

Every spring, fields on the west side of Morton Arboretum burst forth with thousands of daffodils, and other spring flowers. It is a photographer’s dream come true, especially if the weather cooperates. This year, I was anxious to use the impressionist techniques to see what splashes of yellow amongst the trees would look like. I went at sunset and the orange glow added to the ambience. Then I pulled out my iPhone 5s I with a new app, SlowShutter, to see what would happen. Pretty impressive!

I have a gallery on Twenty20 where you can get canvas prints, framed prints, prisms, and more from the Instagram photos I create. So I ordered a print to see what the quality was like. I’m impressed! I’m looking forward to matting and framing it!

 

Cinnamon Rolls on Thanksgiving Morning

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These are my family Cinnamon Rolls, made from excess pie dough. I love family traditions. They bring back memories and make each new holiday connect with both the past and present. We’ve tried changes over the years. One year, Mom tried adding quince jam. Sometimes we’ve added chopped apples. My family seems to prefer the more traditional butter, sugar and cinnamon filling however. I’ve had to offer both a regular and gluten free version in recent years, but that is not quite the same thing at all.

Over the years I’ve made extra batches of pie dough to make extra cinnamon rolls. But this year, I wasn’t making the the pumpkin pies! That meant I wasn’t making pie dough. Not to worry- I made pie dough without the pies!

I wanted to capture the look and texture of the cinnamon rolls coming out of the oven. These were hot when I took my iPhone and captured a close up of the cinnamon-y rolls and twists of buttery goodness. I used Snapseed to crop and adjust the image to emphasize the layers of cinnamon.

How do you make these luscious delights? Make a batch of your favorite pie dough recipe and divide in half. Roll out in a long rectangle shape. Spread with soft butter. Sprinkle with sugar. Sprinkle with cinnamon. (Be generous with all three!) Start rolling up on the long end about an inch wide and keep rolling until you get to the end. Flatten the ends and fold under. Move to a cookie sheet. Score with a knife in about 2-3 inch long pieces, not quite through to the surface. Bake in an oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Then enjoy!